Any WOHM with SAHD's? - Mothering Forums
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Working and Student Parents > Any WOHM with SAHD's?
gingerlane's Avatar gingerlane 01:33 PM 07-06-2004
Dh brought up the option of him staying home and me working and I'm mulling it over. Dh loves to cook, clean and is brilliant with dd. His parenting instincts are better than mine (I'm constantly saying "I don't know what you want" and he'll walk in the room and hand her the exact thing she wants...). I enjoy working out of the house... even get a little depressed when home too much, so this may be the answer for us.

At the same time, I don't want to miss her growing up.

Anyone have any advice for me? And please, nobody flame me for enjoying working.

Lousli's Avatar Lousli 02:18 PM 07-06-2004
My husband has stayed home with our daughter since she was 9 weeks old, and will be home with the next one (on the way) too. I absolutely love it! He is great with her and they have a fantastic bond, plus I have nursed her this entire time, so I can get special mommy time with her through nursing (and in other ways too, of course).

I also enjoy working and would go stir crazy if I was the one at home. In many ways, my dh and I have 'reversed' roles in regards to childcare, she does go to him first if she's hurt or sad, which was hard for me a little. But she enjoys it on the weekends when both of us are home, and dh tells me that she asks about me when I'm not there. It is really working out for our family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Okay, well I would like my house a little cleaner...
Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 02:32 PM 07-06-2004
I was SAHM for 15 months until I decided I wanted to go back to work again. DH chose to SAH and he is great. He also is a great cook, the cleaning part well...that could use some work, lol - but he does do cloth diapers and diaper laundry with much enthusiasm!. He and DD get along great, as she is in real physical play mode and they have a ball together. He's a kid at heart, and is much better equipped mentally to handle the demands of toddlerhood!

For me, it was really important to be at home in the early months, so I'll be taking a year off with this baby too. But I'm pretty sure we'll switch again when that year is up: I enjoy my work! Nothing wrong with that! We all have our values, and all that matters is that we stay true to those values.

I have found that my DD *still* "prefers" me in many ways. I'm the one she wants when she is hurt, I'm the one she asks to colour with, and who she wants to get up in the morning to play with her. She's *very* happy with DH, but I'm still "mama". This has made me feel really good (although I would not take it personally if it were the other way around). I don't feel our relationship has suffered at all from me working, even though I'm usually away for about 9 hours a day.

I think the fact that we still nurse and cosleep helps alot. DH cooks so when I get home from work I go right to her and we play until dinner, then I do bath, stories, etc and then nurse her to sleep.

So yes, it can work really well! I'm so glad that DH has this special time to bond with DD; he's a great father. And it hasn't affected my relationship with DD at all. Most of all, it's wonderful for us that we don't have to use daycare (NOT that there is anything wrong with that, it's just something that was important to us).
gingerlane's Avatar gingerlane 02:55 PM 07-06-2004
I read a stat once that when mom is the primary care giver kids go with an 80/20% (prefer mom to dad 80% of the time, dad 20%), but when dad stays home it's more like 50/50. Have no idea how valid that statement is or even where it came from, so take it with a grain of salt.

DD LOVES her daddy and he's great about CD's and all the "crunchy" aspects of parenting. I really think he would be awesome at it and it's actually something we talked about before we ever had children.

And Piglet68, I totally agree about taking some time off with a newborn... dd is just over a year and I wouldn't have considered a full time job before now (just wouldn't work for us... not a judgment on moms who do work full time in baby's first year).

Lesleyluu -- I actually think our home would be cleaner if dh was the one at home! But yeah, I totally hear you on the stir crazy bit... it's just been really hard for me at times. Although I LOVE being with dd, so I'm a little afraid I'll feel left out or miss her too much.

Thanks for your input Lesleyluu and Piglet68. Anyone else able to contribute to this thread?
mammastar's Avatar mammastar 03:32 PM 07-06-2004
I work full-time outside the home and dh stays home with our daughter, who is now 2.5 years. When I had her, I was in law school and was able to take just a few weeks off classes - although school full time was still quite flexible. He had been laid off when I was 9 mos pg, from a job he didn't really like, and then he was able to collect parental benefits for the first year after she was born and stay home with her. It worked so well!

This past year I began working outside the home in earnest and we moved across the country. I am very grateful that he has continued to be at home with her - it has been critical to helping smooth the transition, and not just for her but especially for me . In a couple of months we are moving again for my new job, and it will be so important for her to have her dad as a constant.

It was hard for him at first, since he felt self-conscious around all the mommy-centric activities out there, and like others would think he was just being a bum - but now he's really come into his own, and grown into a wonderful, relaxed, fun parent. House cleaning is so-so, but I'd rather they were doing fun stuff than she was parked in front of the tv while he did laundry!

In my ideal world, we would both work part-time so I could get more time with her too and he wouldn't go snaky occasionally for lack of adult conversation, but this is good too. She definitely is cuddlier with me and misses me when I'm not around (she ran up and gave me a hug the other day shouting "You're home!" - but I'd only been taking out the garbage ), and dh jokes that he is just like the kitchen sink so far as she's concerned - but she's also crazy about him too.

For us, extra benefits are that we are raising her bilingual, and dad's language is the minority one, so she gets more exposure this way; and that we have her half-sisters with us 8-10 weeks a year and their dad is fully available to them when they're here. The hardest thing is probably dealing with assumptions from other people, institutions and media about how things 'should' work - but doing things differently really sharpens your critical faculties and changes how you look at the world around you and the possibilities for how to respond to it for yourself.
sunshinegal's Avatar sunshinegal 05:44 PM 07-06-2004
I too am a workin mama with a SAHD- went back to work when my dd was about 19 months and went back to work when my ds was about 16 months. Our kids are homeschooled so DH usually gets those funny stares from all the SAHM activities.

It hasn't always been easy, there are plenty of times that I had those tough emotional days, but this really seems to work out well for our family. DH really has a great sense with children in general, not just with our own and I really needed to get out and try my hand in the work world.
We have definitely had our issues mostly with housework and mealS. Our biggest issue that took us many months to resolve was what NEEDS to get done while I am at work and what can be left hanging around. (He doesn't seem to mind dirty dishes piling up for days at a time, but I think I have finally helped him out of that bad habit. Well, so far anyway.... )

We are about to have our 3rd child and I have been considering staying home. It is such a hard choice and there are so many emotions envolved. I think that I will stay home for about 12 months, that is the longest they will hold my position for and go back to work then.

I also thought that I was missing out on things. Sometimes it feels like everything!! One thing I am learning is that I will always miss out on things that happen. Even if I tried to sit right next to him/her all day, I would still miss out. But that is only because he/she is living their own little life. Although I share a large part of it with them, there is a whole life of their own they create.
I have been watching my dd and ds grow up and I see them doing so many things that don't involve me at all. I used to say to my DH " You are so lucky to be home and see all these things happen." and he would say things like " Are you kidding, I was busy talking on the phone when that happened, I didn't even get to see it!".
One example is when my ds was learning to ride his bike without training wheels, well sort of. Well, we tried to keep encouraging him to try it on the sidewalk but he wanted nothing to do with that. Then one day, my husband was on the computer,my dd comes running through the house yelling "Come look at Huckleberry! Come look at Huckleberry!". Not knowing what was going on, my husband jumps up and runs in the direction of my daughters voice. He gets to the living room and looks outside to find ds riding his bike up and down the sidewalk, all by himself. I guess ds was ready and didn't feel he needed anyone around to help.
These kids, you just can't stop them from growing up so fast!!!
mammastar's Avatar mammastar 12:18 PM 07-07-2004
sunshinegal, that's a great insight!! I'm going to try to remember that and remind myself of it when I do feel blue about 'missing things' with kidlet. I had really never thought of it that way!
zennifer's Avatar zennifer 03:44 AM 07-08-2004
I too work full time outside the home and DH goes to grad school at night and stays home with DD during the day. It works out well and he is a great papa. He takes her to playgroup and on outings and he's always the one who washes the diapers :

It has worked out really well for us. I returned to work part time and then was full time when DD was about 6 months old. She's 18 months old now and she's a great kid who really loves her papa.
mammastar's Avatar mammastar 04:46 PM 07-12-2004
Quote from my previous post (sorry,don't know how to do this properly!): She definitely is cuddlier with me and misses me when I'm not around (she ran up and gave me a hug the other day shouting "You're home!" - but I'd only been taking out the garbage ), and dh jokes that he is just like the kitchen sink so far as she's concerned - but she's also crazy about him too.

Ok, she really is a papa's girl! I think she just goes on and on about me being "home" because she's so used to me going back and forth. My husband was away for the weekend, and the poor kid was a mess. She scarcely ate for 2 days, didn't poop, cried long and miserably at the drop of a hat - she was so sad without her papa!! So yes, mums are special, but stay-at-home dads and their kids form bonds just as tight.

She's so happy he's home now....
Geofizz's Avatar Geofizz 05:10 PM 07-12-2004
... Standing up to be counted ...

I've worked full time since DD was 4 months, working a few hours a week starting at 6 weeks. DH is an amazing dad, but like any good parent, experiences bouts of feels inadequate to the task. It's been a series of ups and downs, but on the whole, this has been the best possible arrangement. It's good to make contacts with other SAHDs, though don't expect the guys to get together that frequently. Surprisingly, my best connections with other families with similar arrangments has been through LLL. In my current group, I can think of 5 women who WOH with spouses at home with the kiddies. I think that SAHDs are more common than many people think, likely because men are less likely to involve themselves in playgroups, etc. My husband has noticed that when he goes out during the day with DD, many people treat him as a WOHD who just happens to be home taking care of the kid that day.
Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 05:52 PM 07-12-2004
Geofizz, my DH has said the same thing. He complains about not being invited into discussions that seem to naturally pop up between mothers when at the playground. And he gets tired of them always assuming that he is on vacation or taking the day off, lol. Interesting to hear so many others here have DH's who experience the same thing.
MotherWoman's Avatar MotherWoman 12:07 PM 07-13-2004
I am yet another working Mom with SAHD. Like Mamastar, we wish at times that we could both work part-time, but so far it has worked out close to ideally that I work outside fulltime and DH works outside or at home here and there when he can, and he gets to do a lot of unpaid stuff that he likes to do. He even got very involved and was on the board of the local family center when DS was younger. Not put off at all by all those Moms! Now that DS is 7 1/2, DS is (finally?) starting to often prefer DH, but it was me for a long time. A mixed blessing!! We nursed for a really long time (we did the pump thing in the early years) and still cosleep for the end of the night most nights. It is SO wonderful to see the close relationship that DS and DH have. And I am definitely part of it all. I don't feel like I've missed out on anything. DS and I have a lot of time together in the evenings and on weekends. We tried to figure out the split of time and care once, and it seemed close to even. And now that DS is in school, he's not even at home a lot of the time that I am at work.

I am one of those who would probably go crazy if I were home all the time, but maybe I could get used to it... Sometimes I wish I could stay home, but that is usually when things are not going so well at work. I went back to work part-time, of necessity, when DS was about 2 months. It saved me, really, from nonstop nursing anguish -- and I needed other adults to talk to. But I was exhausted! I would love to work part-time again or work out something where I could work more my own hours on something I love... maybe this is happening soon... Oh yes, and DH is the more relaxed and intuitive one about parenting and does most of the shopping, cooking and all that. Cleaning could be better... I try and help out... I am very lucky and somewhat spoiled and I know it!!!

Lots of love,
PikkuMyy's Avatar PikkuMyy 01:19 PM 07-13-2004
I'm glad to hear all these stories. No kids yet but when we do, I'll be the part-time WOHM (I'm a special ed therapist so I can have really flexible hours) and DH will be a WAHD with also really flexible hours so he can work while the kids are napping or when I get home in the afternoon, etc. I'm really looking forward to it because I know he'll be such a great dad!
owen&mama's Avatar owen&mama 07:22 PM 07-13-2004
Another hand in the corner going up. I've started back to work full-time this week . (In fact, I'm pumping as I type!). My second ds is now 10 weeks and my dh is staying home with him and my 2 1/2 year old. We're new to this, so I don't have any words of wisdom. But I did want to chime in to say that I, too, appreciate all of the insight from all here. I'll be back to glean more, I am sure.

The early decision for dh to stay at home was easy for me. Who better to be there if I can't, right? As we have gotten closer to putting out plan into action, however, I have had more of a difficult time of it. All of my life I have been poo-pooing the traditional roles that men and women have felt compelled to fulfill. I assumed that dh would have the hardest time breaking the mold, but in reality, it's been at least as hard, if not harder, for me. I want to be the one taking care of my kids, cooking, cleaning (okay, not necessarily cleaning), etc. I want to 'make the home'. At least that is how I'm feeling right now, in these early days. My experience with my first, though, is that emotions, plans, routines, etc. all tend to iron themselves out as time passes. Perhaps we will find that this situation works out for everyone.

Some things that we are struggling with: cooking, delegation of duties after I get home, consistent discipline, activities. I feel certain that all of this will work itself out, but I'm a planner, so I wish we had been a little more proactive in getting our ducks in a row.

In any event, as I said, I look forward to stopping back in and hearing everyone's experiences. What a journey this is!
Morgraine's Avatar Morgraine 09:51 PM 07-13-2004
Originally Posted by Holli
Oh, I'm so glad to find you mamas!

Our first daughter will hopefully be home within the next couple of months--we're adopting her from Guatemala. A year ago we moved across country and DH became a full-time stay-at-home hubby in preparation for this.

How wonderful, a new baby. Your message really caught my attention. A friend on mine, a home daycare provider, told me today how the child she cares for is always at her home. This beautiful little girl was very recently adopted from away. The mother or father never took advantage of her year long parental leave. (Canada) They put her in daycare 14-16 hours a day! She even pays people to come and take the little girl to the park on the weekends. I just want to take that little girl into my arms and love her up and give of myself.

They reason I mention this is because this issue of who cares for children is, IMO, one of living within our means. What could be more precious than spending time with a child. My husband and I are working diligently towards our goal of him being a SAHD following the birth, and my mat leave, of baby #2. We are really paring down and getting used to living off just my salary.
nadinem's Avatar nadinem 10:20 PM 07-13-2004
We have an interesting arrangement with my 17 mo DD. Since she was 3 mos, I've worked full time (pumped until she was 1 yr) and my DH (who is a self-employed general contractor) takes her to work with him. He doesn't get much "hammer-in-hand" time, but he does a lot of directing with her in the backpack and does a lot of phone calling at home before he starts in the morning and everyone at Home Depot knows her. This way he brings in some income and at the same time is there for my DD.

The one problem we've had is house chores. I ended up overwhelmed and often feel burned out because I'm away 45-50 hrs/week (with the commute), and then still do most of the household chores. And we try really hard for me to have as much "face time" as possible with DD, so I don't have any time for me.

But then I look at families where both parents work and see that I'd be doing the same thing and at least this way my DD gets to spend the day with Dad. One surprise though, when she's not feeling well, she wants mommy to carry her which surprises me because I would have expected her to want DH.
Geofizz's Avatar Geofizz 12:12 PM 07-14-2004
Originally Posted by Holli
Our first daughter will hopefully be home within the next couple of months--we're adopting her from Guatemala. A year ago we moved across country and DH became a full-time stay-at-home hubby in preparation for this.
Congratulations on the little one! I can't imagine the agony of waiting for your baby like that. Best wishes for quick completion of the process.

Devision of chores: We have chores that I tend to do and others that DH tends to do, but we don't have any strict devision. We do it this way because our lives can get so hectic that there's often a time when I can't even find 5 minutes to in throw a load of laundry, and DH has to pick up the slack. I also recognize that childcare is very exhausting for my husband, and I've come to accept that he simply can't get much done in the way of household duties during the day (groceries are the one exception). Every Saturday, we make a weekend "to do" list with all the errands, chores, etc on the list, along with whatever birthday party or whatever we're going to. We pick away at it, and often double team the worst during DD's naps. The only way we get it done is by remaining flexible and having very low standards.
gingerlane's Avatar gingerlane 01:28 PM 07-14-2004
Originally Posted by Geofizz
The only way we get it done is by remaining flexible and having very low standards.

Sounds like good advice for most things in life!
Nate's Avatar Nate 03:04 PM 07-14-2004
Originally Posted by nadinem
I ended up overwhelmed and often feel burned out because I'm away 45-50 hrs/week (with the commute), and then still do most of the household chores. And we try really hard for me to have as much "face time" as possible with DD, so I don't have any time for me.
cooking, delegation of duties after I get home, consistent discipline, activities. I feel certain that all of this will work itself out, but I'm a planner, so I wish we had been a little more proactive in getting our ducks in a row.
We have chores that I tend to do and others that DH tends to do, but we don't have any strict devision... I also recognize that childcare is very exhausting for my husband, and I've come to accept that he simply can't get much done in the way of household duties during the day
I could've written all of these. In our case things are complicated b/c DH is a free-lance writer, and getting his work done is very important for his sanity. Even if he's only pulling in $500-1000/month in writing gigs, he needs to feel like he has an intellectual life apart from dd. In addition, dd has a really hard time napping for him--lately the only thing that works is long walks in the stroller, and that only works if it's hot out...So I get home, we all sit down, dd nurses, dh tells me about the day (usually tells me all the frustrations--I've started making a point of asking him what fun things they did, otherwise I feel like he's just talking about tantrums, no naps, refusing to eat, etc & then I start to worry that he's not happy w/ the set-up). Then he goes upstairs to do email, and I'm left dealing w/ clingy toddler & making dinner for all of us.

We just rediscovered the sling, though, so I'm going to try putting her in that while I prepare dinner...

One thing I've seen recommended is to write up a "job description" for each of you. This supposedly helps w/ clarifying expectations, etc. We've just been playing it by ear. Every so often one of us steps on one too many raisins, and out comes the vacuum cleaner--things like that are tough, though. You really need 2 people around to get that stuff done, as dd freaks out w/ the dust buster, vacuum, etc. so it's impossible to do w/o a helper...

ITA w/ dads & playgroups. He'll take her to the library book group, community-center programming, etc., and will hang out at the park w/ other parents, or dcps but never sets up anything formally (or informally) w/ other parents. What is it w/ guys?
Indigo73's Avatar Indigo73 07:19 PM 07-14-2004
We are on and off. I have been with the same company for 4+ years but dh hasn't found a place to fit. So for months at a time he's a SAHD - we plan on making this permanent in a few years once our debt is dealt with.
crat19's Avatar crat19 01:57 AM 07-15-2004
We have a very unique situation where my dh and I both work full time AND are the only primary caregivers for our ds. My husband's firefighter schedule allows him to be home at least 2-3 days during my regular work week, and I telecommute on days that he is on duty during the week. It has allowed us to continue to work full time and also be at home with our ds. We share household chores and childcare responsibilities so neither of us gets overwhelmed with one duty or the other. I love that we both get to experience the "office" life and the "sahm/d" life. I have to admit, though, that I secretly wish I didn't have to work and could stay home playing and admiring our ds . . .

Also, my dh's parents live right up the street from us so if we ever need couple time (haven't taken them up on that yet...), have a mtg come up or otherwise, they're right there too. I feel very fortunate to have this arrangement for our ds b/c both of us get to bond so closely with him and are able to continue both of our professional lives.

Just thought I'd share another unique situation with everyone. Best of luck finding what works best for your families!
mamakarata's Avatar mamakarata 04:58 AM 07-15-2004
Originally Posted by Geofizz
. The only way we get it done is by remaining flexible and having very low standards.
I hear you on that. and would add low expectations of eachother. man what a process.

our situation is when ds was born, i was lucky to bring him to work at the office, slinging, and back carrying for the first year, with dh slowly taking him as the year approached a little bit each day for an hour, increasing it. ds was pretty much attached to the nipple for months, so the process was slow.

now i work 2 1/2 days in the office while ds stays home w/ds, and then i telecommute w/ds at home the other 2 days. so we are an equal split now.

in fact, i recently took ds and dd camping (dh doesn't like camping) but he came to visit us after the first night, and ds actually opted to go home w/dh that night while dd and i stayed on another night! he's a homebody, and chose to go home w/o me which was an absolute first! i cried!

it was our first night apart. he had trouble falling asleep w/o his mimi's, (bf) and told dh he missed me in passing sort of, and eventually fell asleep.

that he made that decision was so bitter sweet. i tell you, i just cried and cried! am i weird or what?

so dh works from home on my telecommuting days (he has a granny unit office) so gets the space he needs. i can't really play with ds on my telecommuting days. ds really plays alone and with the dog those days, but is very happy. he has full run of our yard and he and the dog muck around in the dirt with his trucks quite a bit. they both like to dig. you can imagine what they look like on any given day. ds actually barks at the occasional car or passerby on or street! (we live in a redwood forest sort of remote)- but i am there for anything he needs and sneak little breaks in to break it up a bit.

dh takes ds for play dates on his days more often than not, or to the zoo or park, so ds gets a good mix of being home and out and about. and then of course his fav is the weekend when we are all together.

chores are questionable. i had to really work at asking for help as i would find myself doing the lions share and starting to resent it. dh is a combo of spacey and sloppy, but is much happier when i am happy so will gladly do what i ask. it's just so hard for me to ask! i don't know why. i am still working on that. some kind of self esteem thing i imagine. but i am getting better.

all in all we are a damn good team, and the best thing is that we both want the same thing, which is to work it out so one of us is caring for ds without child care. so being flexible and letting go of the hard lined expectations of eachother from society etc has been a driving force in our marriage and co parenting i'd say.
Mindyleigh's Avatar Mindyleigh 11:45 AM 07-17-2004
My hubby and I have four children (three are his biologically, my oldest has a different father) and he has been a SAHD to our 2 year old since Wolfie was 9 months or so. He loves it. I returned to work at that point (I was wanting to be self-employed but started working for someone at that time for financial reasons, with flexibility, however) and we got together a couple times a day for nursing, etc.

Then, we conceived twins and I decided to make a home office and focus on building the business so I could be at home much more than I was. I did this for several reasons. First, I hated being away from my kid SO much. I definitely enjoy working and getting out of the house, but I didn't like missing the "firsts" and hearing about them when I came home. I knew it wouldn't fly with the twins! I hated the idea of leaving them for any longer than a couple hours at a time. I also felt like I needed to get more attached to my 2-year-old. He is incredibly attached to daddy. I don't feel that is a bad thing or solely because I worked a lot--they are deeply connected, like two peas in a pod! But I wanted to be closer. Plus, I knew my husband could not be a SAHD to three children under the age of 3 until the twins were much older, and I didn't want to do the pumping, etc.

Now, my real estate practice is happening and it's based at home. It's crazy and chaotic sometimes, but it's working out! I'm very grateful that we have stayed true to our vision and are making it work. My husband's calling in life is to be a daddy to our kids. He has no desire to work full-time and is not career-oriented. I am. I have mainly focused on building systems to get my business as automated as possible, so my own duties are as stream-lined as they can be. It's still a work in progress but it's paying the bills.

My self-employed status has made this possible, I feel. I have also hired an assistant (a single mommy with a newborn who keeps kid in tow while getting her work done) and am building a team so my work-load doesn't explode exponentially as my business grows. Yesterday, my hubby and I took the babies to the pool for the first time. I felt so grateful and happy to be witnessing their first swim. My assistant (who is also a friend) came also with her baby and we ultimately had a poolside meeting re: work and it was all very seamless and lovely and I'm truly enjoying this arrangement.

The mantra: "My life is unmanageable."

And that's okay!

Re: workload, we both do various chores around the house and my husband does all the cooking and most of the laundry. I'm trying to be less of a slob because he's way more of a neat-minded person than me. I focus on keeping him happy by taking his needs into further consideration. Plus, and this might sound crazy, I make sure his sexual needs are being fulfilled as much as possible! Not only does this make him more relaxed and further ecstatic about the arrangement, but it keeps me feeling like I'm not the "man of the house" and is a great way to stay connected to each other--sometimes hard with all our kids! Even when I don't want to...I make myself get in the mood and dress sexy. We enjoy the element of surprise.

The point I'm trying to make is that we have had some times where neither of us feel like our actions are being appreciated. This happens no matter who's working for money and who's working at the house in a relationship. Sometimes, I want to feel like I'm being taken care of in all the traditional ways, and he wants to feel more manly. It's tough sometimes! But wow, we're enjoying life!
mamakarata's Avatar mamakarata 04:57 PM 07-17-2004
its good to read this thread. dh has never been career oriented. he always made money some way or another up til i got prego a few years back, and at some point it sort of stopped.

i still struggle with it a bit at times. i wish i could say he does all the child care and house stuff while i bring in all the dough, but really, i do more housework, half the child care, and 90% of the income.

but to go along with the breaking of tradition in this thread, i have also come to terms with other sort of intangible facts. contributions he makes that i value more than the money or the chores. but tell me if this sounds co dependent.

he is an artist. (i know, roll your eyes) - when i am struggling with our arrangement, i roll my eyes all the time. but when i have more clarity, i realize how his sort of spontaneous, artistic, zany, in the moment, inspired personality influences our children. he is so talented and full of ideas, he is like a big kid with big talent. making it pay the bills is on again off again, but ultimately, he is a joy to be around when he is creating. and you can imagine what that is like for kids. course he has a totally distracted spacey side that is singularly focused, but when allowed it's space, he's mostly in the moment.

then i am super duper active motivated woman. love my career. love my family. i have to remember to ask for help when i need it instead of shouldering the burden. i like being in control of the finances etc, always wish we had more income, but focus on the bigger picture when evaluating our workloads. i can get carried away doing doing doing and dh is good about bringing me back down to earth. staying social, living a little, keeping the sex alive.

it's not perfect. ds a was HUGE adjustment for dh- dd was 4 yo when i met dh, so he had never had true baby experience. he was barely able to keep it together when ds was small, and now that he is getting a little more independent, dh is more able to focus on trying to balance an income with his part in the childcare without becoming totally overwhelmed and unhappy.

it won't be this way forever. dh has recently re jump started his income making a bit which has been nice. but it is nice to see how many of us here do not place heavy expectations based on a reality that is different than there own. i like being able to see our unique situation and acting on that rather than what society would have.


this was the closest i could find!
mcimom's Avatar mcimom 10:33 PM 07-18-2004
about to be! i just posted an intro thread and now i have to logout, but i wanted to say "hi" and thanks for all of the input so far - i've learned a lot from your experience and hope to learn more and be able to offer some input soon.
Messy Nessie's Avatar Messy Nessie 10:46 PM 07-18-2004
Yes- my DH is a wonderful SAHD! It is a big change for him, since he spent my LOA managing his home business, but he is doing well. We are working on finding the right playgroup for him- one that is a little more diverse than usual and accepting of a SAHD household.

I am still really jealous of the situation and carry a lot of guilt that I am not with our DD all day. He has MS and I'm hoping he will be able to get a job eventually so I can be a SAHM if we have another baby.
wendygrace's Avatar wendygrace 12:29 AM 07-19-2004
Just saw this thread and jumping in. I'm a WOHM and DH stays home with ds 2 and dd 6months. He's been home since ds was about 9 months when he was laid off. It worked out for us as my maternity leave was about to be up. We actually both stayed home with ds for about three months together. Very nice, yet stressful. Anyways, along comes dd and I was only able to stay home 6 weeks but I come home for lunch as I'm only 15 minutes away. Although we are really financially tight, it was way too important for us so we are making it work. Dh is going to be doing some part-time work at night soon to bring in a little extra cash.

Chores are the only thing we fight about. He has no problems cooking, and makes great meals but he can't clean and care for a toddler and an infant (and a dog and cat). I just don't know how people do it. Our house is always a mess. Although, currently I am following and "decluttering". I have sent sooo many things to good will. It's amazing how much more space I have. LOL

Dh also has issues with playgroups (he always feels "unwelcome") but he doesn't actively try to start groups although we have at least a couple of SAHD's in the neighborhood. We find that its important for him to get out with his friends at least one night a week just so he has adult conversations.
crat19's Avatar crat19 02:53 AM 07-19-2004
HAHAHA! Yeah, that's quite a lengthy description! That captured it pretty well. I love seeing others have "untraditional" (whatever that is...) work and home roles. My situation is pretty unusual in my office, and has resulted in others commenting on how "I just collect a paycheck" or "nice to see you finally" with that snide tone. I just ignore it, confident that I am doing my share of the work load, and think how lucky I am to spend time with my ds...

OT: Mamakarata- I see that we live fairly close to eachother too... I'm in Marin.
buttercup's Avatar buttercup 11:07 AM 07-19-2004
I think that if your DH WANTS to do it and understands that he must learn to balance caring for your baby and doing certain chores around the house, then it will work out fine. I am sure there are many fathers who 'fell' into being a SAHD because they couldn't find employment or didn't earn enough money compared to their wives that make great SAH parents. As long as he wants to and knows what it entails, it will work out.

Plus,DH and I feel it is better for a baby/ toddler to be at home w/ a parent for the first few years (There is nothing wrong w/ a child being in daycare, this is just our personal belief). So we scaled down our spending and I work while DH stays home. He 'fell' into being a SAHD and does...'okay' with housework. He and I prefer him to be the one working, but I earn more money and have the great benefits. Even though I feel I could do a better job, DH has has been a great SAHD in caring for both of our kids. They have a lot of fun w/ him and it allowed him to really bond w/ them.

Helon 2 yrs and Phillip 6 mos
wendygrace's Avatar wendygrace 10:46 PM 07-19-2004
Jenni, it looks like our situations are about the same as well as the ages of our children.
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